Modern Window Treatments

Spring is still a bit out of reach for us here in Minnesota, but there’s no doubt it’s on its way. We’ve been on the upswing for several months now with daylight increasing a little more each day, and we’ve got to say that it makes a major difference in our spirits to once again see the sun after 4pm!

So, to celebrate the its return, we’ve rounded up our favorite modern window treatments that let that light flood in nice and bright during the day, but still give you needed privacy at night.


Solar Shades

Not only are solar shades a sleek and minimal approach to window treatments, but they’re also incredibly functional. The filtered material allows you to still maintain a view of the outdoors while also blocking direct UV rays from your home. This helps immensely in terms of keeping heat out (especially once those summer temperatures rise), which in turn helps you save big time on your home’s energy bills. Plus, you can customize your solar shades to whatever level of opaqueness you prefer. Go for a lighter version if you’re craving a brightly-lit space or opt for a higher UV blocker if you need more shade (e.g. in a west-facing bedroom). Either way, these are excellent window treatment options that we highly recommend.


Draperies

For a timeless look that also offers a great deal of privacy, you can never go wrong with draperies. And whether you pair them with shades for a layered design, or use them alone, they’re perfect for adding dimension and incorporating unique colors or patterns into your space.

Just remember that when it comes to hanging drapery panels, there are some basic rules to follow. First, make sure your rod hardware is quality-made and strong enough to hold your draperies (whatever fabric it may be). Second, you want to install your drapery rod above the top of your window to give visual height to the space, and you want your rod to extend over the width of the window on each side (the full window should be able to be covered). Finally, make sure your draperies extend down to the floor – going too short will make your room feel stunted and off balance.


Roman Shades

Roman shades are a beautiful and classic window treatment option that many of our clients prefer because they’re a great in-between option if you’re not sold on either curtains or traditional shade styles. They use less space than a curtain, but because of the way the fabric folds together when opened, they also add more visual dimension than the simplicity of solar shades. Especially for smaller windows, like those above the kitchen counter or above a breakfast nook, roman shades can be a beautiful way to add texture and interest to a room.

 


Blackout & Dual Shades

Of course, if what is most important to you is privacy during those evening hours, then there are always blackout shade options to consider. While full blackout shades will completely eliminate any view to the outside, there are other more flexible options available, too. With dual shades, you get three options in one – either open the shade completely to let in full sunlight, pull down the sheer shade to let in soft filtered light, or pull down the opaque shade for full UV blocking. For those who crave variety, this option definitely fits the bill.


Fingers crossed we get a spring heat wave here soon, but in the meantime, be sure to consider which window treatments will be best for you by the time the sun is out in full force. The more preparation you can do now, the more comfortable the seasonal transition will be.

 

By Megan Johansson

Shower and Bath Storage Solutions

Storage solutions in the shower or bath are so often overlooked, but they’re essential to completing your bathroom and making your life manageable and simple. After all, there’s nothing worse than having to precariously stack all of your family’s shampoo and body wash bottles on the edge of the tub, only to knock them down every time you need something. So, today we’ve rounded up our favorite shower and bath storage solutions to make your remodel complete. From built-in shelves and benches to free-standing stools, the options are endless, and we promise they’ll completely transform your home’s bath into the spa-like atmosphere of your dreams.


Benches

Benches are a sleek addition to any standing shower and we absolutely love to use them. Not only are they great for sitting down and relaxing (especially in steam showers), but they also double as convenient storage spots where you can easily place all of your shower essentials. Plus, they help immensely if you have any mobility issues or injuries, making showering as comfortable and easy as can be.


Niches

Incorporating a niche into your shower or bathtub is always a great idea. Functionally, it provides a handy perch to store your soaps, so you can keep everything up off of the ground or the bathtub ledge (no more tripping on stray loofahs). Architecturally, it adds a nice pop of interest, and can be a great opportunity for you to incorporate unique materials into the space (think everything from back-painted glass panels to patterned tile or solid surface materials). Beyond that, niches can be lit with LED lighting, so you can relax whenever you have to take those early morning or late evening showers instead of being blinded by those bright ceiling lights.


Wall-Mounted Options

Sometimes a remodel is limited on space and there’s no option for working within the inside of a wall. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the same storage capabilities. Wall-mounted options like hooks, shelves, and trays, can be incredibly stylish and they work in exactly the same way as niches do, easily holding your shower/bath items or towels in a minimally and aesthetically pleasing way.


Free-Standing Stools

If you already have a gorgeous bathroom you love, or simply want to add another layer of storage, then free-standing stools are a great option. They’re small and flexible, so they’re never in your way or taking up too much floor space, and you can shift their location any time you need to. Plus, having a stool is incredibly versatile – you can use it for just about anything. Set a few freshly-folded towels on it for guests or use it for your robe or other personal items you don’t want to take in the shower with you (think glasses, jewelry, etc.). Or, why not use it as a spot to rest a calming candle and a glass of your favorite wine? There’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy a soothing bath at the end of a long day.


Towel Bars

Towel bars are commonly seen outside the shower, but I definitely recommend using them inside. As long as they’re big enough, they can be quite convenient spots to store towels for quick dry-offs. Even better, why not install a towel warmer? After all, nobody likes that momentary rush of cold post-shower. A hot towel can make your experience absolutely luxurious.


Of course, no rule states you can only enjoy one of these storage ideas – in fact, layering a few can make for a bathroom getaway that you absolutely love to spend time in. And frankly, you deserve it. So, the next time you step foot into your revamped space and admire how sleek and chic your storage options are, remember to pause, take a breath, relax, and enjoy - there’s nothing quite like it.

 

By Megan Johansson

Smart Homes

How Technology Can Improve Your Life

It’s no secret that technology is everywhere these days. Nearly everyone has a device (or more) glued to their hands at all times, and from one little gadget, we can access an unlimited amount of information. So why not harness that power in your own home? 

Enter in the concept of smart homes. While they’re convenient and can be whimsical and fun (think cute features like a toilet with music and changing lights), they can also save you a ton of money, reduce environmental impacts, and up the safety factor for your family.

On board yet? So are we. Let’s take a look at some of the best that technology has to offer for your home.


Convenience

Do you ever lie down in bed at the end of a long day only to realize you still have to walk across the room to flick off the light? Well, there’s a solution to that (and so much more). With smart home technology, remote access via a phone is all you need to make your life a million times easier (and eliminate the need to get up once you’re already tucked into bed).

Let’s say the garage keypad is frozen and you’re locked out. Or maybe you need to let people into your home when you’re away or not able to come to the door (e.g. you’ve had an injury and can’t get out of bed to let in visitors). Simply tap the app on your phone and voila! Door unlocked. Opening and closing your shades can be automated, too, since you can set up a program that draws the shades at a certain time at night and opens them again in the morning.

With smart technology, there’s no more hassle – just pure, wonderful, convenience.

August -    Source

August - Source

AXIS Gear -    Source

AXIS Gear - Source


Safety

Next up on the list is a biggie – the safety of your home. With smartphone connections, you can monitor everything from smoke and fire detectors to any potential water leaks – all of which could save lives and save you from costly repairs.

Take Flo by Moen, for example. A partnership between Moen and Flo Technologies, this smart system monitors water and detects any leaks by conducting daily tests on water pressure, flow rate, and temperature. If there’s a danger of pipes freezing or catastrophic flooding is detected, it can even shut down the water completely in your home. Much better than coming home to an unintended indoor swimming pool, wouldn’t you say?

Flo by Moen -    Source

Flo by Moen - Source

Flo by Moen -    Source

Flo by Moen - Source


Security

Your family’s security and well-being are essential and incorporating smart technology into your home can instantly put your mind at ease. From your smartphone, you can set up a variety of alerts to let you know if there’s an intruder, when the kids have arrived safe and sound at home, and if there are any unnoticed unlocked doors or open windows in the house at night (amazing, right?).

Beyond this, there are some fantastic partnerships in the works to prevent things like package theft, which constantly seems to be on the rise – especially during delivery upticks around the holiday season. Amazon recently partnered with MyQ LiftMaster garage door system to allow drivers to deliver your packages directly inside the garage instead of leaving them exposed on your front stoop. And while this may seem like a simple solution, it definitely wouldn’t be possible without technology, and smart home attributes like this one can make all the difference (and save you from losing those important purchases).

SimpliSafe –    Source

SimpliSafe – Source

Amazon Key & MyQ -    Source

Amazon Key & MyQ - Source


Energy Conservation

Finally, smart homes have major impacts on the environment, and this focus has been the driving factor in many smart technology developments. With your smartphone, you can automate exterior light shutoffs during the day, set up lawn irrigation based on the weather, close or open solar and thermal shades to coincide with the sunrise and sunset, and opt for a smart thermostat to keep your house comfortable without wasting unneeded energy (our favorite brand is Ecobee).

 

Ecobee Thermostat & Sensor -    Source

Ecobee Thermostat & Sensor - Source

Ecobee Thermostat & Sensor -    Source

Ecobee Thermostat & Sensor - Source


Smart homes can literally be life-saving and are absolutely worth the hype. And while there are some up front costs (smart switches and outlets like Insteon), it’s actually surprisingly affordable – especially since you can add components over time. Plus, it won’t require extensive changes to your home (don’t worry – you won’t have to re-wire your entire electrical system). Keep in mind, though, that while there have been major steps in terms of innovation for smart homes, not all vendors are compatible with one another yet, so you may experience a few initial bumps in the road.

 

But, with the ability to control your home – even when you are away – well, that’s worth every penny.

 

By Megan Johansson

Non-Traditional Holiday Decor

Unexpected Modern Elements to Transform Your Home 

Red and green have dominated the sphere of Christmas decorations for as long as we can remember. And while the color combination is certainly festive and nostalgic, sometimes it pays to decorate a bit outside of the box – especially if traditional décor isn’t quite your style.

If you’re dying to showcase your own unique flair this holiday season, then this inspiration guide is for you. Everything from unexpected Christmas trees to new and interesting color palettes await – all you have to do is read on and get that seasonal playlist pumping. You’ll have a perfectly-decorated home that fits you before you know it.


Christmas Tree

Whether you’re short on floor space or are just ready for something fresh and new, these Christmas tree alternatives are sure to dazzle in your home. From the crisp and clean lines of a wooden-style tree to a collection of floating branches with colorful Christmas baubles, these modern takes on a holiday classic will instantly make you feel festive while giving your décor new life.


 Wreath

Wreaths don’t always have to be evergreen with a big red bow. Why not go for unique shapes and textures instead? Try hanging simple greenery wreaths together for a Scandinavian-inspired front window display. Or opt for a geometric wreath with subtle greenery accents. Having a wreath that reflects your personality is the key to making your home’s entrance as inviting as can be.


Tchotchkes

Perfect for decorating a mantel or any side tables or shelves throughout your home, Christmas tchotchkes are a must have. That’s why we love these modern and chic décor elements. Understated wooden trees and color-blocked wooden houses give a refresh to those classic Christmas village scenes, while simple branches in vases can help to give your vignettes height and a splash of color and texture. Don’t forget those candles, too – they help to spread that festive cheer by making the ambience relaxed and welcoming.


Garland

Adding garland to your home – from the fireplace mantel to doorways – can instantly bring about that holiday vibe we all know and love. For a new and non-traditional look, we recommend trying either eucalyptus (or other similar foliage) or adding a touch of flocking spray to your greenery to give it that silver and wintry mix. Or, if you’re all about opting for something totally different than greenery, try a geometric-shaped garland or one made of colorful poms – you’ll still get that Christmas vibe, but in a completely unique way.


Neutrals & Metallics

We are absolutely in love with Christmas décor that ditches the red & green and goes instead for sleek metallics and bold neutrals. Try pairing silver and gold for a glamourous holiday look or go for chic black and white décor that brings a sense of class and elegance to the space. And whether you’re filling your mantel with eclectic ornaments, placing unique candlesticks around the house, or creating a minimal and chic advent wreath, these color palettes are sure to make your décor one of a kind.


Wrapping Paper

Finally, Christmas décor isn’t complete without that beautiful wrapping paper making a debut underneath the tree. Instead of traditional scenes of snowmen and Rudolf, why not spring for a more modern look with clean lines and understated – yet impactful – prints? By mixing and matching a variety of textures and colors, you can achieve a curated collection of gift wrap that goes perfectly with your updated and modern home décor. 


Inspired to do that non-traditional Christmas you’ve always desired? We say go for it – after all, your holiday décor should reflect whatever makes you happy and helps you spread that cheer. Happy decorating!

 

By Megan Johansson

Designing for Kids

Tips for Creating the Perfect Kids’ Spaces

By Megan Johansson

Too often, when we think about designing our homes, we gloss over kids’ spaces, preferring to spend our time perfecting living rooms, dining rooms, and master suites. Yet, little human beings need good design just as much as adults do (if not more)! From learning to stay organized to providing plenty of space for creativity, a well-designed room can make all the difference between encouraging imagination and stifling it. Follow these tips, and your kid-friendly spaces will soon be a favorite spot in your home.


Organization

Want to instill habits of organization & tidiness? Design your kid’s room in a way that helps them achieve that goal. Have designated spaces for books, toys, and supplies so that they’ll always know where to find them and where to put them away. A clean and tidy space promotes relaxation, too, so your child will be able to take a break from playing and nap in a snap!

Source / Source / Source


Adjustability & Flexibility

Kids’ spaces should have the ability to be used for a variety of activities. From sleeping to studying and playing to crafting, their rooms should be adjustable and flexible so that they’re getting the most out of the space. Some ideas we recommend are incorporating storage under the bed, adding ample desktop space for arts and crafts or studying, and including furniture that can move around as needed.


Timeless Design

It can be tempting to go all-out with a theme in your child’s bedroom, but the trick to keeping kids’ rooms feeling fresh is to show good design that can grow with a child. Rather than having to re-do the entire look every few years, it’s always a good bet to opt for simple style that, with a few slight tweaks, can be personalized as your child reaches his or her older years.


Playfulness

While timeless design is something we love for kids’ rooms, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Kids are all about fun and creativity, so why not let their space reflect that same element of whimsy? Try creating a statement with pops of color, add in playful patterns, or top off the design with an oversized item (like a wall mural or big comfy seat).


Keep Things to Scale

More than any other room in the house, kids’ rooms need to be spaces where they feel welcome and comfortable to explore. The key with this is to keep the scale appropriate. Don’t have a bed that they need a step ladder to reach; instead, stick to lower platform beds for easy access and instant comfort.  Not only are they safer, but they’re also perfect for sleepovers!


Balance Stimulation & Restfulness

As much as kids would like to play all day and night, they definitely need balance, so their spaces should reflect that. By providing plenty of comfy spots like nooks and reading corners, it allows them to experience both stimulation and restfulness, giving them comfortable spaces to unwind whenever they need it.


Utilize Space Creatively

If you have multiple kids and are short on space, why not opt for bunk beds? As long as you utilize your space creatively, there’s no reason why kids’ rooms can’t still be exciting and fun. Simply look for opportunities to incorporate unexpected storage (under the bed, via wall shelves, etc.), and your small space will feel like the ultimate play zone in no time.


If you’ve been dying to remodel your kids’ rooms for a while now and are tired of endless piles of craft supplies, stuffed animals, and books, then follow these steps and you’re sure to have the space of your dreams. And remember - it’s never too early to promote good design!

Table Settings

A Style Guide to Fall Entertainment

By Megan Johansson

Feel that crispness in the air? See those puffs of steam rise every time you exhale? The cold weather is on its way and the season for dinner parties and indoor entertaining is here. And what better way to celebrate than with a beautiful tablescape? To kick off October, we’ve pulled together a fall entertainment style guide on how to create your perfect table setting. In just seven easy steps, you’ll have the most gorgeous dining space in town – all you’ll need is some comfort food and plenty of wine, and you’ve got a celebration for the books.


#1 – Tablecloth / Runner

The base of your dinner design, a tablecloth or runner is an absolute must have in order to dress up your dining area for the occasion. They help to anchor your place settings and lend a soft and inviting element to your arrangement. Plus, there are endless ways to incorporate these into your space, including layering sheer fabrics for an ethereal look, draping a runner loosely to give your table an unhurried and relaxed feel, or opting for a patterned runner to give your tablescape an instant pop of excitement.


#2 – Chargers / Placemats

To help define each place at your table, a charger or placemat is a classic touch. Metallic chargers give your table an elegant and refined look, while a cloth placemat provides texture and visual contrast. Looking for something more out of the box? Try a wood charger – not only does it add a beautiful natural and earthy vibe to your design, but it also lifts your plates above the tabletop, adding depth and dimension to the overall style.


#3 – Centerpiece

The best way to transform your table from everyday use to event-ready is to add a centerpiece. Whether you opt for a stunning floral arrangement, simple greenery, or a more seasonal collection (think pumpkins or pinecones), a centerpiece is what gives your tablescape personality and lets your style shine through. This is definitely a step you don’t want to miss.


#4 – Napkins

Though they aren’t as simple to clean as disposable paper napkins, investing in cloth napkins for entertaining is something we highly recommend. They’re classic and timeless and they give your party a certain warmth and welcoming aesthetic. You can get creative with displaying your napkins, too, and they’re the perfect complement to your overall design. Try wrapping them in twine or a napkin ring and adding a sprig of flowers or greenery for a final touch.


#5 – Menus

While menus are typically popular at weddings, they’re also beautiful tablescape additions for a dinner party. Especially if you’re hosting a special event (holiday, birthday, retirement, etc.), a menu can lend a classy air to your overall design and give your guests something to look forward to as the meal progresses.


#6 – Place Cards

To add a personal touch to your party, consider incorporating place cards at each setting. Your guests will feel welcomed and honored, and your tablescape will look all the more dazzling. From simple and minimal designs to scripted and luxurious name tags, place cards give your design an intimate quality you’ll love.


#7 – Candles

Relaxed lighting is essential to a cozy dinner party, and candles instantly change the room’s atmosphere and give off a celebratory effect. Not sure which ones to choose? If you want to add height to your tablescape, taper candles are the way to go. If you’re going for a Scandinavian-inspired minimalist style, try a single candelabra. Or, if you like more of an eclectic collection, try mixing pillar, taper, and votive candles together. Whichever style you prefer, just remember to keep your candles scent-free so they don’t intermingle and overshadow the aroma of the food.


So, are you ready to host your first cold-weather dinner? Then uncork your favorite wine, take a seat by the fire, and start pinning recipes. Because now that you’ve got your tablescape perfected, all you need are a few menu hits.

Fall Fire Pits

A Roundup of Our Top Picks

By Megan Johansson

It’s officially fall, which means the weather’s taken a turn towards the cooler side of things and our thoughts are on all things cozy. The best part about this time of year, though? It’s still warm enough to enjoy your patio, and there’s nothing better than a warm fire to keep things toasty. So, grab a couple of throws, get comfortable, and start planning your fall s’mores fixings. Because we’ve got a feeling that if you don’t already have a gorgeous fire pit like one of these, you’ll want to pick one up ASAP.


Fire Bowls

Sleek and simple, fire bowls are stunning fire pit additions to your backyard. The fire is contained and often surrounded by beautiful glass, coals, or stone granules, which provides a nice visual contrast. Lit via gas, these are a cinch to start and even easier to put out at the end of the evening. Plus, they won’t give off the usual campfire smell that burning logs do – it’s the best of both worlds.


Sculptural Pits

If you’re looking to add a touch of art to your fire pit area, why not opt for a sculptural fire pit? Available in endless styles, these give new life to bonfires through artistic shapes and patterns. Go simple with an angular steel option or move more in the direction of unique and creative with a fire pit that doubles as a work of art when not lit. Regardless, it will make a stunning impact in your outdoor space.


Table Fire Pits

Table fire pits are not only beautiful and minimal in design, but they’re also incredibly practical. Large surrounding edges offer ample space to set down drinks or appetizers, keeping your fire pit at the center of your autumn entertaining.


Copper Fire Pits

These gorgeous metallic fire pits are perfect for adding a touch of intrigue to your backyard. They’re classic in shape, but definitely stand out from the crowd in color. There are a variety of copper options out there, too, so you can choose whichever style best fits. From hammered to smooth and rustic, copper pits add a splash of warmth to your space that’s ideal for those crisp fall evenings.


Sunken Fire Pits

For a bold architectural statement, a sunken fire pit is a great option. By placing your pit below the deck or ground level, you automatically create visual interest and depth in your yard – something we absolutely love. And whether you prefer to build in cushioned sofas or would rather opt for sleek wooden benches, a sunken fire pit makes for ample seating space – your guests will feel right at home.


Built-In Fire Pits

For a cohesive look, try a built-in fire pit on your patio. By using the same stone, concrete, or brick as the patio floor itself, your fire pit will feel intentional and you’ll be able to build your outdoor space around it. Rather than having a moveable/transient pit, a built-in one allows for a seamless transition visually, and it gives a sense of permanence to the space.


The shift in seasons doesn’t mean we all have to retire to the indoors for six months. Take advantage of this beautiful cool weather with a crackling outdoor fire. You’ll want to soak up the fresh air long after the sun has set (and with these fire pits, who could resist?!).

Bedside Lighting Tips & Tricks

How to Choose the Perfect Light

By Megan Johansson

Lighting is another layer of design that makes the space come alive. Different moods can be achieved by manipulating lighting, its intensity, color and placement. With so many options and technologies available on the market, figuring out bedside lighting can get complicated. This simple guide will help you make the right decision while choosing lighting solutions for your bedroom.


Step #1 – Choose Your Light Style

Not all bedrooms are created equal. Some have plenty of floor space for a nightstand and table lamp on each side of the bed. Others have room for only wall sconces. Still others allow for a mix of the two, combining styles and space-saving tricks to get the perfect balance of lighting. So before you fall in love with a gorgeous lampshade or an adjustable copper reading light, assess your room and decide what style of fixture would suit your needs and work best in the space.

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Step #2 – Make Sure You Have the Right Height

Now that you’ve got your light style in place, you need to choose the right height of the lamp or location of the sconce. Think of your reading light as a task light that needs to be high enough to illuminate the pages, but not too high to lose that soft and cozy effect. A good rule of thumb is for a source of light to be about two feet above the top of your mattress (or, about in line with the top of your pillow/headboard). Opting for adjustable versions is a great option, too, since it allows you to shift the light focus as needed.

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Step #3 – Decide on Hardware or Plug-In Fixtures

Hardwiring your fixtures requires some planning, but you’ll appreciate it once it’s properly designed and implemented. The result is a seamless design with flexible operation via switches, no visible cords, and switches and outlets that blend in with the wall color. You can even opt for smart switches with dimmers that are connected to your smart phone for easy control. In this project (below), the headboard is deep, so we added a smart phone module so the light can be dimmed or turned on or off without reaching back. It’s incredibly handy – just don’t forget to install a USB plug-in next to the bed to keep your device charged.

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Step #4 – Choose Your Bulb Wattage

If there is no dimmer, the final touch is to choose your bulb wattage. If you’re eyes are a bit more sensitive to bright lights before bed or you prefer to have an overall softer ambient glow, then your best bet is to go with lower watt levels (in the 25-40 range). If you prefer a brighter light for reading, on the other hand, you’ll want a watt level between 50-60 – it’s the perfect level of brightness without veering into the harsh light territory. Overall, stick to soft and warm lights (between 2700-3000K in temperature) – they’re best for the bedroom since they help to keep things feeling cozy and calm.

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Got your perfect bedroom light in mind? Then grab your favorite novel or magazine, fluff up those pillows, and get ready to settle in for a great night’s sleep. With your new lighting installed, you may never want to leave.

Water Features

How to Create a Tranquil Getaway in the City

By Megan Johansson

Humidity seems to be at its peak in Minneapolis mid-August, and unless you’re able to get away for a cabin weekend, it can be tough to find ways to stay cool.

We’ve got the perfect solution: water features. While they’re popular everywhere from hotels to corporate plazas, they’re also perfect for your own backyard. Adding a bit of Zen with simple and tasteful design aesthetic, they’ll make your home feel like its own private getaway – right in the middle of the city.

So, here’s our roundup of some of our favorite water features – and why they just might be the perfect match for you.


Wall Waterfalls

If you’ve got a smaller backyard, a wall waterfall is your best bet. Not only does it take up little ground space, but it can also create a big architectural statement. You can keep it simple with a faucet-style waterfall, or you can make a bolder statement with a full wall style feature.     


Cascade Fountain Fixtures

The multiple tiers with cascading effect add visual interest and depth. Such installations also create beautiful sound you can enjoy day and night, especially if it’s artistically lit.  There are plenty of options, too – from wall waterfall styles to stand alone fountains, you can definitely find the best fit for your backyard.


Stand Alone Water Features

For people who prefer to keep water features above ground, water bowls, columns, and simple fountains are ideal choices. They can fit just about anywhere in your garden, and they come in a variety of different shapes and styles that evoke a feeling of calm and tranquility for any space.


Ponds

If you have extra space in your backyard, consider adding a small pond – not only are they absolutely perfect for extending your garden (water lilies are some of our favorite pond-friendly plants), but they’re also ideal if you love koi or goldfish ponds. Your backyard will feel like a total oasis.


Modern Water Troughs

We love the contemporary vibes of elongated water troughs. They’re often a combination of a pond and a waterfall. Plus, they give a sense of architectural contrast to the space, whether dipping down below the deck line or raised above.


You really can’t go wrong with a water feature, especially with so many gorgeous modern designs to choose from. Each one is simple, yet makes a unique statement, which is always something we appreciate in outdoor design. Create your escape within the city with a water feature, and you might find that you’re not quite ready for summer to end after all.

Our Favorite Coffee Shops

Where to Get Your Daily Dose of Caffeine

By Megan Johansson

If you’re on the prowl for a new coffee shop, we’ve pulled together a list of some of our favorite spaces right now. Not only are they stellar in the latte and americano department, but they’re also total jaw droppers in terms of design. And frankly, it doesn’t get much better than that.

So the next time you’re craving a caffeine fix and want an all-around great experience, check out some of these places – they’re spots you definitely don’t want to miss.


#1 – Parallel

Right near the IMS building, this space is a coffee lover’s delight. Black and white marbled countertops pair perfectly with a gorgeous blue Moroccan fish scale tile wall, and light wood seating brings a subtle warmth to the space. But aside from the top-notch design elements, their coffee, lunch, and happy hour specials are delish.

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Source: @parallel.mn


#2 – Spyhouse

With five locations around the Twin Cities, Spyhouse is about as convenient (and adorable) as it gets. And while we recommend ordering a Spygirl coffee with a touch of lavender (it’s a personal favorite), any item on their menu gets a five-star rating from us. Plus, their space is filled with the perfect combo of dark shades, exposed brick, and reclaimed wood – needless to say, we’re in love.

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#3 – Rose Street Patisserie

A Linden Hills gem, Rose Street Patisserie is our go-to shop for all things French inspired. Pastries, coffee, desserts, and more fill their menu, and we’re on a mission to taste it all. Don’t miss out on this one, lovers of sweets – it’s an experience you won’t forget.

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 #4 – Penny’s

Penny’s has the best soft serve in town, hands down (and believe us when we say we are big fans of soft serve). If you’re looking for dessert – or a delectable cup of coffee – then this spot is for you. With two locations (downtown and South Minneapolis – both equally stunning), you’re guaranteed to leave feeling satisfied (but still totally okay with one more cone).

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#5 – Dogwood


Located in Uptown’s Calhoun Square, on Lake Street, and in St. Paul, this open and airy coffee shop is the ideal spot to kick back and relax. It’s modern and sleek (perfecting a minimalist design), and as you sip on a delicious cold brew, don’t forget to pause for a moment and enjoy the unique art on display at each location. Day made? We think so.

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#6 – Sparrow Café

This natural light-filled corner shop has the perfect blend of eclectic décor and bright aesthetic. It’s a favorite for South Minneapolis residents, and it’s in just about the perfect location (only a few blocks from Lake Harriet on 50th and Penn). Not only do they serve grade A coffee, but they’re also next door to an adorable used book shop – Paperback Exchange – where you can pick up your next novel to read as you while away the afternoon sipping chai tea and people watching through Sparrow’s iconic picture windows.

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Source: @hunnyenergy


Whether you’re grabbing coffee with a client, working through the morning with a cappuccino in hand, or stopping by for lunch, you can’t go wrong with any of these Minneapolis staples. Because why should you settle for chains when these local spots are so stunning? There’s really no better way to enjoy that daily cup of joe (or two). We say go ahead and splurge - you deserve it!

How to Style a Coffee Table

5 Steps to Making Your Table a Perfect Vignette

By Megan Johansson

A coffee table is more than just a footrest while you watch a movie. It’s an opportunity to get creative and showcase your personal style. And while tables come in all shapes and sizes – from modern lucite beauties to gorgeous vintage trunks – the way you style them can completely change the look of a room.

The trick to styling your table is to layer a variety of items in different shapes, textures, and heights to give the surface a curated vibe. You want everything to pop on its own, but still work together as a collective piece of art.

It can be tough to get the right balance, though, so we’ve put together a guide to help you style your coffee table just the way you like it. If you follow these steps, you’ll have a perfectly positioned living room in no time.


Step #1 – Add a Tray or Bowl

The quickest way to make your coffee table feel collected and neat is to add a tray or large bowl to the mix. It allows you to group together those smaller items (think coasters or candles) that might otherwise make the surface look cluttered or random.


Step #2 – Store Remotes Incognito

There’s nothing worse than losing a remote (especially today when it seems we all have 3-4 per TV). Rather than letting them float around the top of your table (and possibly get lost in the cushions), dedicate a specific incognito zone for them so you always know where they are and they don’t take up valuable styling space. Drawers are perfect for this, but if that’s not an option, try popping them in a box or bowl on the lower shelf or grouping them together inside your tray.


Step #3 – Stack Books or Magazines

Depending on the size of your table, you can either stack books inside your tray or next to it. Either way, adding a few coordinating books or magazines gives your table a visual anchor point and it gives you a chance to showcase your personality. Are you an art lover? Comedy guru? Political junkie? Invest in a few books about your favorite topics and they’ll be instant conversation starters.


Step #4 – Top It with A Tchotchke

Add an eclectic touch to your coffee table vignette by adding a tchotchke or other personal item. Perhaps it’s a small frame of your family on vacation or a vintage cigar box you found at your favorite flea market – whatever your favorite item is, your coffee table is the perfect spot to display it. Just make sure it fits size-wise and that it works with the rest of your items; you don’t want the tchotchke to take center stage, but rather work as the cherry on top of the overall styled surface.


Step #5 – Add Flowers for Height

Once you’ve got everything in place, you’ll want to consider adding a vase with fresh flowers or a potted plant to the mix. As long as you choose a vase or pot that fits the size of your table, flowers and plants can brighten up the space while giving vertical height to the otherwise horizontal vignette.


Your coffee table might be small, but when it’s styled well, it packs a punch and makes a major statement. And the best part? You can always change it up as your tastes and styles shift – just follow this guide and you’ll be sure to find the right combination that suites you.

 

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere

Unique Bar Carts Ideas for Your Home

By Megan Johansson

Bar carts are all the rage right now - and for good reason. They’re the perfect visual addition to a room when styled well, and they’re functional in a way we can all get behind. Because who doesn’t love a good cocktail?

Not all bar carts have to have the same look, though. If you’re not into the typical brass two-level cart that’s popular right now, there are so many other unique options to choose from to showcase your favorite drink fixings.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite unconventional bar cart ideas for your home, which means before you know it, you’ll be raising a toast to good style.


Butler Trays

These beauties are as flexible as TV dinner stands, but with way more visual appeal. They’re easy to move and reposition around a room as needed, so they’re perfect for parties. Extra bonus? You can swap out the tray for another look if you ever want to spice things up. Try a lucite tray or a farmhouse-inspired wood tray to add a new and exciting vibe to your space.


Open Shelving

This option is ideal for anyone with a small home or apartment. If you don’t have the floor space, it can be hard to justify a cart or extra side table. But if you pop in shelves and go vertical, you get an instant bar “cart” that doubles as wall art. Does it get any better?


Hutches & Buffets

Most people don’t think of these as bar carts, but if you’re in love with a beautiful vintage or custom piece, using it as a bar can give it new life. Instead of following the crowd with the typical small cart, your hutch or buffet becomes the star of the show, and a conversation piece to boot. We can certainly all clink glasses to that.


Repurposed Trunks

Who says that trunks should always be relegated to the foot of the bed? Give a beautiful antique a chance to shine by converting it into a bar cart. You’ll have a total unique piece, and it’ll instantly add personality and charm to any room.


Secretary Desks

We love using these as bars – they’re perfect for tucking away bottles and mixers during the day, then showcasing them for guests at night. The desk itself doubles as a beautiful piece of furniture in the room, and it’s less obvious than a traditional cart.


Vintage Teacarts

Similar to typical bar cart styles, vintage teacarts allow you to display your bar collection, but in a way that evokes memories of the past. Teacarts give a sense of timelessness to a space, and they’re much more visually interesting than current cart models.


Console Tables & Cabinets

The great thing about a console table or cabinet is that it’s comparable in size to a classic bar cart, so you’re not losing space. But even better than that, it can double as an entryway table or living room piece. Opt for a table with doors to tuck your bar goods out of the way, or go for an open shelving unit for the opportunity to display your bar alongside any other personal items you love.


Tabletop Trays

Don’t have the space for a full bar? Why not use a simple tray to hold and showcase all of your cocktail goods? The best part about a tray is that it’s moveable – you can pop it on a coffee table, move it to a dining table, or store it on a dresser. It’s an instant party hit.


Your bar cart is a chance for you to think outside the box and incorporate pieces you love. So whether you’re drawn to an antique buffet or floating shelves, your home has all the potential for the perfect bar setup.  Now all you have to do is sit back and enjoy that G&T. Cheers!

A Well-Styled Shelf is Always a Good Idea

How to Style Your Bookshelves

By Megan Johansson

Too often, shelves become a collecting zone in a home where books and knickknacks cover the surface without rhyme or reason. The result is a cluttered space that never feels settled.

So, why not opt for a Pinterest-worthy “shelfie” instead?  Your shelves should be a true reflection of your personality – not just a storage area.  Stick to these tips and tricks and you’ll be well on your way to perfecting your shelves (and getting some “ooohs” and “aaahs” from your guests along the way).


Vary Height & Direction

To keep your eye moving across a shelf, you want to vary the heights of the objects you use, and play with both vertical and horizontal orientations. If you have the same sized books filling every shelf, or the same sized frames over and over again, your shelf will lack complexity. Instead, try arranging your books by mixing a variety of height and thickness, or stack a few on their sides to prop up a unique tchotchke.

1. Source  2. Source  3. Source


Layer Books with Other Objects

To avoid having your shelf fade into the background of the room, mix and match different objects together for intrigue – say, an oblong vase next to a collection of leather-bound classic novels. Use your shelf as an opportunity to showcase your most loved items, and feel free to layer them for visual depth. Maybe you want to add in a framed wedding photo, or a sculpture you purchased on your last vacation – whatever it is, get creative with adding and rearranging unexpected items together. Styling is all about making a visual picture out of things that are different, but complementary.

1. Source  2. Source  3. Source


Stay Within Your Color Scheme

You don’t want everything on your shelf to be the exact same shade or color, but you do want to make sure you’re sticking to a color scheme that fits with the rest of the room. Decide on about 3-5 colors you want to use, then make those the focal points of your shelf. It’s fine to have a bit of another color in there to add in some contrast, but you don’t want to stray too far outside your chosen scheme or your shelf will feel cluttered rather than curated.

1. Source  2. Source  3. Source


Pay Attention to Spacing

Unless you have a plant purposefully draping down a shelf or artwork propped against the back wall, the general rule of thumb is to keep things about halfway between the edge of the shelf and the back. This provides visual depth because the objects feel like they fill the entire space, but aren’t overcrowded and falling off the ledge. If your items are all too far to the back, the shelf will feel empty or crunched, and if your items are all pushed too far forward, they feel too precarious and posed. Stick to the middle and your shelf will feel balanced.

1. Source  2. Source  3. Source


Watch Out for Sizing

Whenever you’re including books on your shelves, make sure to pay attention to their sizes. The spines shouldn’t be hanging off of the ledge – if yours are, then the book is simply too big for the shelf and would work better on a coffee or side table. Also, if a book is too tall, don’t try to squeeze it in at an angle – either style it on its side (horizontally), or save it for another spot.

1. Source  2. Source  3. Source


Incorporate White Space

Remember that every square inch of your shelf doesn’t need to be filled – and frankly, it shouldn’t be. You want to incorporate white space to allow your objects to pop. This will help you avoid the trap of adding too many things to “fill” the shelf up. A little goes a long way!

1. Source  2. Source  3. Source


Ready to give shelf styling a shot? These tips should give you a start, and don’t forget that the best part about shelfies is that they aren’t permanent – you can rearrange and add to them whenever you want. So, get creative and showcase your favorite things. Your shelf just might steal the show.

Modern Cabins Are the New Black

An Updated Take on Traditional Cabin Living

By Megan Johansson

If you’re from Minnesota, you know that summer and cabins go together better than chocolate and peanut butter. For many people, going “up north” for the weekend is basically a rite of passage.

But as entwined as cabins are to Minnesotans’ DNA, they don’t always have to adhere to rustic mountain decor. Cabins can (and should) reflect your personality. If you’re not into the traditional log look, why not opt for a smaller, simpler design instead?

Modern cabins are on our radars big time right now, and with their sleek lines and minimalist décor, it’s no wonder why. They are sheer perfection.

Beautiful modern cabin with floor-to-ceiling windows /  Source

Beautiful modern cabin with floor-to-ceiling windows / Source

Want some tips for incorporating modern style into your home away from home? Here are our favorite elements of these dreamy spaces:


Sleek Fireplaces

Gone are the days when having a cabin meant you had to have a giant stone fireplace. Today there are so many beautiful pared down fireplace designs to choose from that complement your space and truly make a modern statement. From unique wood burning stove shapes to using white painted brick or tile around the hearth, you can still soak up the magic of a cozy fireplace without falling back on the usual lodge set up.

1. Floating wood burning stove gives a sense of lightness to the space / Source    2. This fireplace is sleek and modern, playing with color contrast / Source    3. A simple and understated wood stove makes the view the focal point of the room / Source


Monochromatic & Neutral Color Schemes

Modern cabins tend to stick to the neutral family, with bold blacks and crisp whites taking the spotlight. Incorporating color is great – but it’s best done in small pops here and there. If you keep your color scheme largely monochromatic, your space will feel much more contemporary and less likely to fall into the typical log cabin vibe (think heavy on reds and greens).

1. A black exterior is brightened up by a fresh white interior / Source    2. With the exception of occasional pops of red and wood, this cabin sticks to a white color palette / Source    3. The floor-to-ceiling white brightens this space up and brings the natural light to life / Source


Artistic Indoor Wood Storage

Usually, firewood ends up being stacked in a corner of a cabin – sometimes on an outdated metal stand, and other times just stacked in any way that’s sturdy. But why not use wood storage as an excuse to get artistic and really utilize the space? These gorgeous cabins make firewood look like the most show-stopping thing in the room. Try this look by incorporating built-in compartments by the fireplace (unused wall space, I’m lookin’ at you), or opt for a unique shelving unit that gives your cabin a modern flair.

1. Against a white wall, this wood storage is a beautiful contrast of color and texture / Source    2. This modern circular wood storage unit is unique and serves as a statement piece in the space / Source    3. Using a lower shelf for wood storage helps to connect the logs to the wood ceiling, and keeps the floors clear, opening up the room visually / Source


Modern Architectural Features

There’s nothing more stunning than a modern framed home nestled between pine trees. Modern architectural details can completely transform cabins into contemporary structures with purposeful connections to nature. Details like floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook a lakefront, A-frame structures with stunning loft bedroom views, and skylights that add natural light can all work together to help a cabin feel airy, open, and updated.

1. This A-frame home fits perfectly in the woods while also making a bold statement / Source    2. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow for unbeatable views / Source    3. The flat roof of this cabin works to open up the view of the sky and help the home blend into the surrounding nature / Source


Modern Wood Accents

You can still achieve a “cabin” feel with wood paneling or exposed timbers, but the trick to making this look feel more modern than mountain is to keep it understated and balance it out with simple furniture and neutral colors. You don’t necessarily want to have an all-over wood-paneled room paired with wood furniture and accents because it can be visually overwhelming. But if you use wood sparingly, it can help you pull in inspiration from the surrounding trees in a way that is fresh and tasteful.

1. Wood paneling covers the ceiling but is balanced by sleek furniture and walls in contrasting colors / Source   2. Painted timbers help to break up the wood paneling visually, and the room is completed with modern furniture and fixtures / Source   3. This bedroom keeps to modern principals but still incorporates wood in a contemporary and unique way via a statement headboard / Source


Ready to take your cabin to the next level? Try incorporating some of these design tips for an modern take on a Minnesota classic. Your second home will instantly feel refreshed and ready for the summer (and your s’mores will taste better than ever).

Breaking Plaid’s Bad Rap

Why Plaid is a Timeless Classic

By Megan Johansson

Sophisticated. British. Elegant. Modern.

You might be surprised, but we’re referring to plaid here. Yep, you read that correctly – plaid.

INVIEW Interior Design /  Hamptons Inspired

INVIEW Interior Design / Hamptons Inspired

Most people immediately think of plaid as old fashioned or outdated, but in reality it’s a design staple that is classic and modern at the same time. Whatever your taste may be, plaid is the perfect pattern to toss into the mix.

The key to incorporating Ralph Lauren’s signature look into interiors is to make sure it doesn’t cover every surface. Sometimes a small pillow or subtle bench seat is all you need.

INVIEW Interior Design /  Master Suite

INVIEW Interior Design / Master Suite

So where do you start? How do you incorporate plaid into your design without having it take center stage or tip the balance of textures and colors? Well, the best part about plaid is that it can be used on just about anything. Wool plaid in particular is highly versatile, and we recommend using it for draperies, upholstery, or pillows (to name a few options). All of these make for great accent pieces that give a little pop of excitement without overwhelming the room.

If you’re looking for more of a statement, try using plaid with unexpected color combinations and bold lines like these Paul Smith designs:

1. Mingled Plaid in Cadet / Source  2. Pressed Plaid in Sunset / Source  3. Exaggerated Plaid in Brae / Source

Some of our other favorite plaids include Plaid Affair from Robert Allen and designs by Johnstons of Elgin. Check out some of their work below…

1. Plaid Affair from Robert Allen in Oyster / Source  2. Scapa Spice by Johnstons of Elgin / Source

 

In love with plaid yet? We thought you might be. On your next design, try adding some into a collection of throw pillows in a master suite or use it on an accent chair in a bright color combination to spice up a room. Whichever direction you choose to move in, we guarantee that plaid won’t let you down. Just remember to use it strategically and in a way that complements the rest of the room, and we’ve got a feeling you’ll fall in love all over again every time you step into the space.

Accent Chairs That Stand Out from the Crowd

How to Add a Unique Statement to Your Space

By Megan Johansson

There’s nothing quite like a unique accent chair to make a statement in a room. With the right texture, color, or print, you can instantly turn a bedroom or living room from predictable to bold and exciting.

The trick with accent chairs, though, is that you want them to add personality to the space without completely taking over as the sole focal point. A chair should complement the other colors and fit in seamlessly with the rest of the décor. You don’t want an ultra-modern chair thrown into a space that’s going for more of a Zen vibe because the two styles will clash. Instead, you want to make sure to keep everything cohesive so the chair is more of a cherry on top (yum) versus hot sauce on a sundae (not the best fit).

Not sure where to start? Check out these chairs to give you an idea of how to get creative with your furniture:


Incorporate floral or geometric patterns

Adding florals is a great way to mix multiple colors into a space without it feeling overwhelming, and geometric patterns are always a good idea (especially if you’re hesitant about going for a bold color pop but still want an accent chair that stands out). If you stick to the color palette of the room, you can play with a myriad of exciting patterns that give the room a surprising element.

1. Floret accent chair / Source    2. Black & white geometric chair / Source    3. Red geometric patterned chair / Source


 Use rounded chairs to build a sense of comfort

Chairs with curved arms and rounded backs are warm and inviting, and bring a sense of hominess to a room. If you have a lot of sharp angles in your space and want to soften it up, a chair like one of these is a great addition.

1. Red accent chair / Source    2. Teal swivel chair / Source    3. Plum accent chair / Source


Choose a bold color pop to offset a largely neutral-based room

A color pop can instantly give a room character. The key with this is to be selective with your color choice – if the room has more of a calm vibe, you probably want to avoid a hot pink option, but a subtle pink could be the perfect fit. Choosing the right shade is important to making sure it’s visually pleasing versus too harsh on the eyes.

1. Emerald velvet Chloe chair / Source    2. Bright yellow arm chair / Source    3. Coral tufted chair / Source


Look for chairs with brass or wooden legs to add contrast

Not ready to fully commit to an all-over bold color accent chair that immediately draws attention? Try a chair with wooden or brass legs to add contrast and soften up a chair’s pattern or color. The shift in texture and material can be enticing visually and can help the chair blend in with the rest of the room.

1. Navy velvet chair with brass frame / Source   2. Purple velvet chair with brass legs / Source   3. Teal chair with wooden legs / Source


Play with chair shapes to give your space a totally unique vibe

Why not go for an accent chair that is completely unexpected? Defy typical shapes and structures by opting for chairs with unpredictable pizazz.

 

1. Sculptural Elroy chair / Source   2. Red egg accent chair with ottoman / Source   3. Maxime Club Chair / Source 


Go for fun textures

Playing with textures like velvet or quilted patterns can be intimidating on a large piece like a sofa, which is why incorporating those textures on an accent chair instead is the perfect way to add them to your room without them taking over the space.

 

1. Pink quilted accent chair / Source   2. Blue velvet chair / Source   3. Sheepskin armchair / Source


Ultimately, if you’re opting for an accent chair that adds a pop to the room, just remember to keep the area around the chair simple and let the piece make a statement all on its own. Use tricks like adding throw pillows or blankets in textiles with similar colors and textures as the rest of the room to instantly form a connection.  The result? Your chair will feel right at home. As long as you make your choice purposeful, we say go for it – you simply can’t go wrong adding an unexpected visual twist to a space.

 

Felt Light Fixtures Take the Spotlight

3 Reasons Why We’re Loving This Trend

By Megan Johansson

Felt isn’t just for kid-friendly art projects anymore. This material is popping up everywhere on light fixtures, and we’ve got to say, we’re big fans.

The soft texture adds a sense of warmth to any space, and that paired with its sleek form and clean lines makes this style an instant winner. If you’re looking to add a fixture that’s unique but still adheres to a modern and contemporary style, this is definitely the type of light for you. Why stick to the same old fixtures everyone has been using for years when you can jump at the chance to add some unexpected texture instead?

These felt lamps have magnetic shades, making them versatile for different spots in the house or office /  Source

These felt lamps have magnetic shades, making them versatile for different spots in the house or office / Source

Here’s why we love felt fixtures:

1. They absorb and dampen sound.

Ideal for spaces where noise can sometimes be an issue (think restaurants, dining rooms, offices, or conference rooms), these fixtures help to soften the acoustics in a natural and understated way. Adding a felt fixture intentionally to certain areas can make the ambience feel calm and relaxed (and of course, styled).

Red stitching on this BuzziShade felt fixture adds a color pop and helps to connect to the bold dining table /  Source

Red stitching on this BuzziShade felt fixture adds a color pop and helps to connect to the bold dining table / Source

2. They bring an aesthetic warmth to a room.

Remember how when you were a kid, felt was such an interesting alternative to construction paper? It always added a certain element of plushness to any project. The same goes for felt light fixtures – they immediately soften the space and their texture is pretty inviting.

This Bola Felt shade is flexible to allow for light focus shifts /  Source

This Bola Felt shade is flexible to allow for light focus shifts / Source

3. They are sleek in design.

Using felt on a light fixture is a statement in and of itself, which is why these lights tend to stick to simple colors, shapes, and forms, letting the material take the spotlight. Even when they’re in different shapes than the typical rectangle or cone, they keep to geometric principles, emphasizing clean and clear edges and purposeful angles. Felt fixtures somehow manage to be both the focus of the room, yet simultaneously blend in with the other elements. How amazing is that?!

The simple grey and yellow colors of these felt fixtures make them ideal room additions either solo or as a mix-and-match combo /  Source

The simple grey and yellow colors of these felt fixtures make them ideal room additions either solo or as a mix-and-match combo / Source

These light fixtures work best when the rest of the room is cohesive and adheres to minimal and modern style. You probably don’t want to plunk down one of these in a traditional space with antiques and classical art lining the walls. But if your space is contemporary and you’re dying to add a fixture with a pop of personality, then you’ll definitely want to check these out.

Gray Is The New Black, And Math Is The New Sexy

Color always tells a story. 2014 story is about science and art. Today we appreciate knowledge as much as we celebrate design. Today math is the driving force and inspiration for fashion, architecture and art

Complex yet simple forms and shapes of modern architecture

Complex yet simple forms and shapes of modern architecture

Beautifully structured gowns

Beautifully structured gowns

Elegant, simple, uncluttered spaces

Elegant, simple, uncluttered spaces

REASONED


Using geometry to create patterns and shapes, discover design at its most exquisite and mathematical.

DIAPHANOUS


Using spiritual balance of simplicity, delicate colors and strength tempered by softness. Dreamy, silent, introverted.

CURIOSITY


Strange, unusual, wondrous. It’s where mad science meets fantasy, and sweet dreams overlap with feverish nightmares. Oddities are now objects of fascination. The bizarre has never been more beautiful.

INTRINSIC


Revolution brought us machines that mimic embroidery, but the original technique retains its timeless enchantment.

Don’t be afraid to experiment in 2014!

Handsome Wood Paneling

Bookcase Living Room

Hello, I’m Joanna. I write for Arcadian Lighting, a premier source of high quality interior and exterior lighting fixtures. Thank you, Petra and Rena for allowing me to share a guest post with your readers. My topic today is handsome wood paneling. While this might conjure thoughts of 70s cheap wood paneling, the rooms below display anything but. Some of them reflect rich woods while others tend towards the lighter side. Would you enjoy this great looking wood paneling in your home?

A traditional living room features built in bookcases amongst wood paneling for a stately look. The wall sconces and table lamps add to the symmetry of the room.

Light Wood Entryway

A beautiful entry boasts decorative light wood paneling along with dark wood floors, risers and front door. The contrast works nicely to define the space.

Gray and Orange Wood

Multi-toned wood paneling in shades of gray, orange and beige create an accent wall in this casually furnished living room.

Scandinavian Living Room

The light wood paneling adds to the crisp and fresh feel of this Scandinavian living room. A darker wood paneling would close the space in making it feel smaller, so the lighter wood is a good choice.

Rustic Nursery

An accent wall of horizontally applied wood gives this nursery a rustic appearance. The swing arm lighting fixture gives a modern touch to the space.

Warm Exotic Wood Furnishing

Exotic wood paneling warms and adds interest to the space. The tones of the wood are carried through to the furnishings and flooring.

Chalkboard Dining Room

White paneling adds to the country feel of this dining room. The chalk board border is a homey touch.

Eclectic Living Room

A matte-finished wood covers the ceiling, floors and walls of this eclectic living room. The hanging light fixture, a ship chandelier is stunning.  Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Which wood paneling might you choose for your home?  Leave a comment and stop by Arcadian Lighting to brighten up your wood panelings!

White Walls Can Talk...

Suggesting white color for the walls often raises a few eyebrows among our clients. Isn’t it boring? Will the room feel uninviting and cold?  We don’t think so! Check out these projects – no other color but white would work in these spaces.

Suzanne Kasler

Suzanne Kasler

Safdie Rabines Architects

Safdie Rabines Architects

Charlie Simmons

Charlie Simmons

Spaces Designed

Spaces Designed

White shouldn’t be equated with absence of color or imagination. Its subtle beauty can become a wonderful background for furnishings, fabrics and art. A word of caution: picking out the right white is a task in its own. The numerous shades of white, 120 to be precise in Benjamin Moore collection, and each one of them has its own personality, really! You might get surprised when that personality comes out after the walls are painted and the tape is off. Some of our favorites:

  •  Navajo White – a timeless shade of creamy white, great for kitchen cabinetry with glazed door detail for an old-world look
  • White Dove – simply perfect white, not too creamy, not too stark
  • Decorators Whites – cool white, try it on trim
  • Atrium White – crisp white with drops of purple
  • Swiss Coffee – off-white color with a touch of sophistication, no yellow undertones
  • Linen white – clean and fresh

Why we love white so much? It brings everything to a balance and works across many styles. When used deliberately it can create some fun and colorful spaces.

Traditional

Traditional

White walls make beautiful William Morris inspired motifs even more stunning

White walls make beautiful William Morris inspired motifs even more stunning

Equestrian

Equestrian

Simply Happy Room

Simply Happy Room

From a point of view of color psychology, white represents harmony, serenity, new beginning. So, please don’t be afraid of white. It may not seem to be as exciting as orange but give it a try!